Garden Getaways

Explore the Island’s most beautiful spaces, and so much more, with these free online itineraries.

Garden Getaways - YAM JULY 2023
The Butchart Gardens in Victoria, British Columbia.

Stop and smell the roses, not to mention the lavender, cedar and scones.

For the past decade, Gardens BC has been promoting garden tours around the province. Now they are making it even easier — and way more fun — with new, free, online itineraries linking some of our prettiest gardens with restaurants, cideries, cultural experiences and other attractions through the Fraser Valley, around Vancouver and across Vancouver Island.

It’s a great way to explore our beautiful region, and get added wellness benefits while you do — after all, studies have shown that spending just 20 minutes in nature can reduce stress, improve mood and even stave off depression, anxiety and other disorders.

“For me, it’s two things,” says Geoff Ball, president of Gardens BC. “As a garden person, you just get inspired. But what I think most people will realize is the spiritual and mental health benefits of being in gardens. You come away feeling refreshed and more relaxed.”

The Vancouver Island itinerary travels from the Saanich Peninsula through Victoria, the Cowichan Valley and Qualicum Beach to Tofino, where the botanical gardens are being transformed into the Indigenous-themed Naa’Waya’Sum Gardens. You can follow it as one trip, or break it into several smaller ones, or even visit different sections at different times of year. After all, gardens are always beautiful.

“We’re really lucky that B.C., and the Island, has an amazing collection of gardens,” Ball says. “It’s great to see them all brought together.”

Plan your garden getaway at https://gardensbc.com/itinerary/vancouver-island/.